Great Improvisation Franklin, France, and the Birth of America

ISBN-10: 0805080090
ISBN-13: 9780805080094
Edition: N/A
Authors: Stacy Schiff
List price: $20.00 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: " Stunning . . . a remarkably subtle and penetrating portrait of Franklin and his diplomacy." -- "The New York Review of Books " When Benjamin Franklin embarked for France in 1776, he well understood that he was taking on the greatest gamble of his  More...

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Book details

List price: $20.00
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Publication date: 1/10/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 528
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

" Stunning . . . a remarkably subtle and penetrating portrait of Franklin and his diplomacy." -- "The New York Review of Books " When Benjamin Franklin embarked for France in 1776, he well understood that he was taking on the greatest gamble of his career. The colonies were without money, munitions, gunpowder, or common cause; dispatched amid great secrecy, across a winter sea thick with enemy cruisers, Franklin was seventy years old, without any diplomatic training, and possessed of the most rudimentary French. His eight-year posting there serves not only as Franklin' s most vital service to his country-- it was in large part on account of his fame, charisma, and ingenuity that France underwrote the American Revolution, and it was Franklin who helped negotiate the peace of 1783-- but as the most revealing of the man. The French mission would prove the most inventive act in a life of astonishing inventions. In "A Great Improvisation," Pulitzer Prize winner Stacy Schiff draws from new and little-known sources to illuminate the least-explored part of Franklin' s life. From these pages emerge a particularly human and yet fiercely determined Founding Father, as well as a profound sense of how fragile, improvisational, and international was our country' s bid for independence.

Diana Hendry was born in Wirral and grew up by the sea. She has published more than forty books for children and teenagers. She won a Whitbread Award for Harvey Angell and a Scottish Arts Council Book Award for Harvey Angell Beats Time. One of her picture books, The Very Noisy Night, was adapted into a show by Blunderbus Theatre Company. Diana has also written four poetry collections for adults and children. She regularly tutors a group of teenagers at the Arvon Foundation's centre in Moniack Mhor. She lives in Edinburgh.Stacy Schiff is a Pulitzer-Prize winning American nonfiction author. She was born on October 26, 1961 in Adams, Massachusetts. She earned her B.A. degree from Williams College in 1982. She was a Senior Editor at Simon & Schuster until 1990. In 2000 she won the Pulitzer Prize for her biography of V�ra Nabokov, wife of author Vladimir Nabokov. She was also a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Saint-Exup�ry: A Biography about Antoine de Saint Exup�ry. Schiff's most recent biography, Cleopatra: A Life, was published by Little Brown in November of 2010 and reached the New York Times Bestseller List.

Cast of Characters
Introduction
The First Mistake in Public Business Is the Going into It 1776
Half the Truth Is Often a Great Lie 1776-1777
Three Can Keep a Secret, If Two of Them Are Dead 1777
The Cat in Gloves Catches No Mice 1777-1778
There Is No Such Thing as a Little Enemy 1778
Admiration Is the Daughter of Ignorance 1778
Success Has Ruined Many a Man 1779
Everyone Has Wisdom Enough to Manage the Affairs of His Neighbors 1780
The Sting of a Reproach Is the Truth of It 1780-1781
Those Who in Quarrels Interpose May Get Bloody Nose 1782
The Absent Are Never Without Fault 1783
Creditors Have Better Memories Than Debtors 1784-1785
Epilogue
Chronology
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index

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